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The Yin-Yang Property of Chinese Medicinal Herbs Relates to Chemical Composition but Not Anti-Oxidative Activity: An Illustration Using Spleen-Meridian Herbs.


ABSTRACT: "Yin-Yang" and "Five Elements" theories are the basis theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). To probe and clarify the theoretical basis of these ancient Chinese wisdoms, extensive efforts have been taken, however, without a full success. In the classification of TCM herbs, hot, cold and neutral herbs are believed to possess distinct profile of chemical compositions of which the compounds should have different polarity and mass: this view provides a new perspective for further illustration. To understand the chemical properties of TCMs in the classification of "Yin-Yang" and "Five Elements," 15 commonly used herbs attributed to spleen-meridian were selected for analyses. Chemically standardized water extracts, 50% ethanol extracts and 90% ethanol extracts were prepared and subjected to different analytic measurements. Principle component analysis (PCA) of full spectrum of HPLC, NMR and LC-MS of the extracts were established. The results revealed that the LC-MS profile showed a strong correlation with the "Yin-Yang" classification criterion. The Yang-stimulating herbs generally contain more compounds with lower molecular weight and less polar property. Additionally, a comprehensive anti-oxidative profiles of selected herbs were developed, and the results showed that its correlation with cold and hot properties of TCM, however, was rather low. Taken together, the "Yin-Yang" nature of TCM is closely related to the physical properties of the ingredients, such as polarity and molecular mass; while such classification has little correlation with anti-oxidative property. Therefore, the present results provide a new direction in probing the basic principle of TCM classification.

SUBMITTER: Huang Y 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6249273 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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